Monteria on map
Monteria is a unique kind of a driven hunt, developed on the Iberian Peninsula, in Portugal and Spain. Three things make Monteria unique: its scale, the use of dogs, and organization. A Monteria usually covers a lot of ground, up to 25 thousand acres. A large number of hunters, or “monteros” – up to 40 – take places in elaborately positioned lines known as “armada”. A number of packs of hounds, or “rehalas”, about 20 dogs in each, are released into the areas, assisted by their handlers and drivers, and the hunt is on. On this size and scale, one can’t go without sophisticated organization. Usual quarries are the red deer and wild boar; occasionally also mouflon and fallow deer. Before the hunt, you’ll be given a list of animals that shows which are included in the regular price of the hunt, which you can shoot at an extra cost, and which are not to be shot. For instance, roe deer, ibex and Barbary sheep are usually illegal to shoot during a Monteria. Female and subage animals, such as wild boar sows with the young, are often a no-no as well. Shooting over the limit, or illegal animals, may carry a hefty fine and sometimes criminal prosecution. A hunter may be assigned with a “secretary”, who helps with game ID, suggests what animals are shootable and what are to be passed, and keeps score of shot and wounded game. For 3 or 4 hours the hunters will be in the state of excited tension, as at any moment you may face your quarry. You only have a few seconds to a) correctly identify species, age and sex of the animal; b) make a decision whether you can or can’t shoot it; c) make sure the shot is safe, there are no dogs, drivers or other hunters in the danger zone; d) take the shot at a running animal offhand. These days, offhand shooting at a running animal is becoming a lost art, so it’s a good idea to visit a shooting range that offers running deer or running boar targets and practice. Remember that wounded animals are counted against your limit. It goes without saying that where there are many hunters and dozens of drivers with dogs, safety is Job 1 for the hunt’s organizers and for every hunter present. Read more...
Hunters harvest a large number of animals, but this number is scientifically justified, and carefully controlled. Ensuring large numbers of game animals takes a lot of protection, forestry development, and cooperation with local agriculturists, to provide animals with shelter and food, but at the same time to prevent overpopulation and unwelcome crop damage. Monteria estates do a lot of work for preserving biodiversity in Spain. The knowledge is passed from generation to generation, and is a part of the rich tradition of the Monteria. An essential part of the hunt is the final layout of the trophies, as a homage to the harvested animals and recognition of the hunters’ skills, followed by dinner and socializing. Most estates offer hotels and spa facilities, where non-hunting companions may enjoy their stay while the hunters await their chances up in the mountains. Learn more about the Monteria in our blog post. Hide details
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